City and Guilds: Fashion
In September 2002, I started the City and Guilds course
at West Herts. College, Hemel Hempstead. The Teacher was Janie Taylor, who
then retired, and Nicola Downes took over. I really enjoyed the course
as it helped me to consolidate and improve
my sewing skills.
I am enjoying the challenge of starting with a design concept, and working
with it right to the final product. At times it seems a tedious journey
(!)...especially when you need to document all the details, including
changes, samples of seam treatments, construction sequence, etc. But, I
have learned a lot. I received the Part 1 qualification in 2004.
This page shows the work
from Part 2.
Basic blocks for skirt, trousers, bodice, dress, jacket.
4 garments - skirt/culottes, blouse, dress, jacket
Sample files: small sewn samples to
show your level of skill...ranges from seams, to zips, to waistbands,
collars, and even decorative embellishment.
Pattern making file: 1/4 scale
samples to show you know how to draft the various aspects of differing
styles on garments.
One aspect of the course that I found to be very
fascinating was the design element. We had 10 long sessions with Sue
Jarman, the embroidery teacher. She helped us to develop design concepts
for 6 "Preparing Working Designs" (PWD) boards;
Man Made, Living Forms, History/Religion/Folk Culture, Media, Landscape,
and Sky/Water. We explored the ideas of pattern, line, shape, black and
white, colour, etc. We worked with a wide range of art type materials. For
the most part, the resulting designs were fairly abstract.
Design sources I chose:
Man Made - watering can
Living Forms - mandarin duck
Folk Culture - dragons
Media - poem "Silver" by Walter de la Mare
Landscape - gemstones and agates
Sky - sunlight and it's effects
I hope to include PWD examples here in the future.
Skirt Project "Crazy Flashes"
Initial design idea...How can I use Crazy Quilting in a tasteful way on a
Brief...skirt needed for Christmas performances with my flute.
with pocket detail
Panel line straight skirt-black cotton velvet, with jewel toned crazy
quilting inserts in side and back pleats, and as faux flap at pleat edges,
includes small pocket.
Comment: Now I need a waistcoat to match!
side and back, with crazy quilting detail
Blouse Project "Window
Initial design idea...Round window with louvered section in centre.
I asked myself, "Can you do this in fabric?"
Brief...summer blouse needed.
Peasant blouse - turquoise cotton muslin, with centre front placket,
released pin tucks at shoulders, waist, and lower sleeve, no cuff, wave
tuck detail on placket and mandarin collar.
Comment: re: placket...Why did I have to reinvent the wheel on this
|Dress Project "From Ethiopia
Initial design idea...Received a woven scarf from a friend in
Ethiopia. fascinating colours...sort of electric blue with coral, giving a
blue/purple look. Can I make something to go with it so I can wear it?
Brief...posh dress needed for fancy "Christmas work do".
dress bodice detail
Non-formal evening dress - finely woven blue/purple polycrepe, with empire
line front and princess shaping below, princess line in back, beaded
motifs (same shapes found in pattern at scarf ends) on centre front
bodice, at hem edge of each seam and centre edge of short sleeves, small
triangle detail below bust.
project about did my head in! Initial design looked good
...but not on me.)
Jacket Project "Sunshine and
Initial design idea...lightweight suede leather from re-enactor market,
also the idea of sunshine through wrought iron railings. How can I find a
way to make something red and black?
Brief...smart jacket needed for teaching courses and attending
Non-tailored jacket, lined and with facings - fine red cotton
baby cord, self-faced, princess line, mandarin collar, black suede leather
details: faux pocket flaps, faux cuffs, design detail centre back, and
removable yoke overlay...all with cut out areas. Lining of rayon(?) - black
with white border print and similar motifs scattered randomly. Hand-painted
metallic black buttons with cut outs.
back (Comment: Yes! Finished! This turned out just like I thought it should.
I am really pleased! For the assessment, the City and Guilds verifier choose
to see this project...when I still had a couple weeks work left on it! She
wanted to see a project in progress. )
2 Full Working Designs
As a follow on from the Preparing Working Designs, we had to take ideas
from one PWD and develop it further, as if presenting ideas to a (fictitious)
client. The designs are not to be made up, but all information necessary
for someone else to make up the designs must be included.
First full working design:
Initial designs from Dragon PWD
brief: professional skateboarder wants trousers for her wedding
where she will also perform.
Nickname..."The Flying Dragon".
Okay, this was one of my "give it all you got"
projects. I really loved exploring the design ideas for this one. At our
exhibition, this seemed to be the only display that caught the interest
of any boys dragged there by their parents!
Second full working design:
Initial designs from Sunshine PWD
brief: afro-caribbean director of dance troupe requires a
large sleeveless overshirt/tabard in sheer fabric to go over dance
leotard. Troupe is performing a dance about the sun's rays in the
This was great fun! Comments from the City and Guilds verifier
mentioned my creativity. Tried some of my textile art techniques on this
Later reworked the FWD
and entered it into the student category of the Festival of Quilts 2005.
I really loved
doing these. I may hold off on the photos for this, as I may keep them on
a back burner to create in full in the future!
|SAMPLE FILES: Over the 2 years you work on
files which show examples of what you have learned.
- It is necessary to complete a file with samples of the pattern
cutting/drafting you have done so far. Basic blocks and how they are changed
to create most common styles.
- You are also required to have a file with sewn samples of things
like hem and seam finishes, different sorts of zip insertions,
pockets, fastenings, and a few decorative fabric treatments such
as fabric painting and applying trims.
- Another file contains info about various fabrics, how they are made
and their care, various weaves and finishes, etc.
You must also have a collection of information on designers and
interesting styles and style features from museum visits, magazines,
or websites. This shows your ongoing interest in the craft.
The City and Guilds external verifier/moderator came into college on the 26th May,
had to be prepared with all our work.
School was to finish at the end of June, so if you were working on your last project(s), they needed to be at least in a state to show that you will be
able to finish them in the next few weeks.
on schedule for this!)
The moderator asked the teacher for one project, design
element and sample file. In effect, she was checking to be sure that what
the teacher passes is up to standard. By asking randomly for work from
various ones, she knows she is not just being shown the projects the
teacher thought were the best.
said above, she chose my 2nd Full Working Design, My pattern cutting
samples, and my nearly finished jacket project!